MariKathryn E. Arnold
Career Services Advisor
Why Your Resume Matters
In January 2018, Forbes reported that on average, recruiters spend six seconds scanning a resume to determine if they want to consider the applicant. With such a short amount of time spent determining an applicant’s fate, it is important to understand how to make your resume stand out:
Write for your audience
Understanding what recruiters are looking for before sending out your resume is a key aspect to grab a recruiter’s attention. In the first 6 seconds, recruiters want to know if you are a prime candidate for their open position. Therefore, your first question is, how do you make the recruiter continue to read your resume? Your relevant experience and education should be at the top of the page. Your current position should show your experience level. When did you start and how long have you been there? What are your accomplishments? They’ll scan your previous positions, so try to make them as relevant as possible and avoid big gaps of time in-between. A resume that demonstrates to the recruiter that you are relevant, loyal and consistent, will tend to be the one that lands you an interview.
You are your resume
First impressions are important, and you only get one! It’s important to take the extra time to make sure that it is consistent and error-free. A resume with misspelled words, grammatical errors and inconsistencies won’t get to make a second impression. The devil is in the details, so pay attention to them. Show that you want to impress your recruiter. A strong resume is consistent with formatting and content. It reiterates your strengths and skills. It reinforces your experience and education.
It’s about what you’ve accomplished
It’s time to show off, but how? Include achievements that are measurable. How many reports did you create a month? What was the percentage increase in sales due to your contributions? Employers like numbers, so if you’ve got them flaunt them. A recruiter predicts your job duties based off of your position title. Show them how you contributed to your last company with data instead of only listing your duties. Show off and you’ll stick out as a memorable, qualified candidate.
Your resume is your first impression; your first interview. It will open or close the door to your prospective job. Your resume matters and it’s vital that it illustrates your best self.
Note: This blog was originally published September 3, 2015 and updated April 13, 2018.